[Poetry] [Flashes of Wisdom] [Language Virtuosity] [On Society] [On Science] [On Computers] [On Music]


Now close the windows and hush all the fields:
   If the trees must, let them silently toss;
No bird is singing now, and if there is,
   Be it my loss.

It will be long ere the marshes resume,
   It will be long ere the earliest bird:
So close the windows and not hear the wind,
   But see all wind-stirred.

Robert Frost

Über allen Gipfeln
Ist Ruh,
In allen Wipfeln
Spürest du
Kaum einen Hauch;
Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.
Warte nur! Balde
Ruhest du auch.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Over all the mountain peaks
Is peace,
In all the treetops
You sense
Scarcely a breath;
The little birds fall silent in the woods.
Only wait! Soon
You too shall find rest.

since feeling is first
who pays attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while spring is in the world

my blood approves
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady I swear by all flowers. Don't cry
— the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

e. e. cummings

But those who hope in the Lord
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31

Nu är flamman slocknad, bara
tidens långa flöde glider jämt förbi.
Vara samman, skiljas, fara,
det är så vart öde är bestämt att bli.

Bo Bergman


Now the flame is extinguished, only
time's long tides glide for ever past.
To be together, to separate, to journey,
it is thus our fate is destined to be.

Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet;
She passed by the salley gardens on her little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish, with her would not agree.

In a field by the river my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand.
She said to take life easy, as the grass grow on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.

William Butler Yeats

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
 Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves,
 And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
 The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
 The frumious Bandersnatch!

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
 Long time the manxsome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
 And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
 The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
 And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
 The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
 He went gallumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
 Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
 He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
 Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves,
 And the mome raths outgrabe.

Lewis Carroll

  Il brilgue: les tôves lubricilleux
Se gyrent en vrillant dans le guave.
Enmîmés sont les gougebosqueux
Et le mômerade horsgrave.

«Garde-toi du Jaseroque, mon fils!
La gueule qui mord; la griffe qui prend!
Garde-toi de l'oiseau Jube, évite
Le frumieux Band-à-prend!»

Son glaive vorpal en main, il va-
T-à la recherche du fauve manscant;
Puis arrivé à l'arbre Té-té,
Il y reste, réfléchissant.

Pendant qu'il pense, tout uffusé,
Le Jaseroque, à l'oeil flambant,
Vient siblant par le bois tullegeais,
Et burble en venant.

Un deux, un deux, par le milieu,
Le glaive vorpal fait pat-à-pan!
La bête défaite, avec sa tête,
Il rentre gallomphant.

«As-tu tué le Jaseroque?
Viens à mon coeur, fils rayonnais!
Ô jour frabbejais! Calleau! Callai!»
Il cortule dans sa joie.

Il brilgue: les tôves lubricilleux
Se gyrent en vrillant dans le guave.
Enmîmés sont les gougebosqueux
Et le mômerade horsgrave.

  Es brillig war. Die schlichten Toven
Wirrten und wimmelten in Waben;
Und aller-mümsige Burggoven
Die mohmen Räth' ausgraben.

»Bewahre doch vor Jammerwoch!
Die Zähne knirschen, Krallen kratzen!
Bewahr' vor Jubjub-Vogel, vor
Frumiösen Banderschnätzchen!«

Er griff sein vorpals Schwertchen zu,
Er suchte lang das manchsam' Ding;
Dann, stehend unterm Tumtum Baum,
Er an-zu-denken-fing.

Als stand er tief in Andacht auf,
Des Jammerwochen's Augen-feuer
Durch turgen Wald mit Wiffek kam
Ein burbelnd Ungeheuer!

Eins, Zwei! Eins, Zwei! Und durch und durch
Sein vorpals Schwert zerschnifer-schnück,
Da blieb es todt! Er, Kopf in Hand,
Geläumfig zog zurück.

»Und schlugst Du ja den Jammerwoch?
Umarme mich, mein Böhm'sches Kind!
O Freuden-Tag! O Halloo-Schlag!«
Er schortelt froh-gesinnt.

Es brillig war. Die schlichten Toven
Wirrten und wimmelten in Waben;
Und aller-mümsige Burggoven
Die mohmen Räth' ausgraben.

Flashes of Wisdom

It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail. — Gore Vidal

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody is looking. — H. L. Mencken

If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot. — Dean Smith, UNC basketball coach

Always remember to pillage before you burn. — Unknown

The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them. — Mark Twain

In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane. — Mark Twain

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. — Douglas Adams

Diplomacy is the art of letting other people get your way. — Unknown

If you can't convince them, confuse them. — Harry S Truman

The difference between theory and real life is that in theory, there is no difference between theory and real life, but in real life, there is a difference. — Marshall Spight

A meeting moves at the speed of the slowest mind in the room. (In other words, all but one participant will be bored, all but one mind underused.) — Dale Dauten

Language Virtuosity

A woman asked a Boston cab driver where she could get scrod. "I didn't know that the verb had that past tense," he muttered. — Richard Lederer

"Hello," he lied. — Don Carpenter quoting a Hollywood agent

... A solemn, unsmiling, sanctimonious old iceberg who looked like he was waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity. — Mark Twain

On Society

America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization. — Georges Clemenceau

The greatest question of our time is ... whether men can live without God. — Will Durant

An eye for an eye only ends in making the world blind. — Gandhi

Marriage is not so much finding the right person as it is being the right person. — Charlie W. Shedd

Happiness depends on what you can give, not what you can get. — Unknown

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win. — Gandhi

On Science

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. — Albert Einstein

In a congressional hearing: "When asked how particle physics contributes to the defense of our country, Robert Wilson replied that it makes the country worth defending." — Shu, p.101

I take it by your lack of an actual measuring device that this is more of an art than a science. — Adrian Rollett

Foolproof systems don't take account of the ingenuity of fools. — Unknown

Quantum Mechanics: the dreams that stuff is made of. — Unknown

Aerodynamics are for people who cannot build engines. — Enzo Ferrari

On Computers

The primary purpose of the Data statement is to give names to constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every appearance, the variable Pi can be given that value with a Data statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant. This also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of pi change. — Fortran manual for Xerox Computers

Because user errors often produce unpredictable results, the user should try to avoid them. — IBM MVS/XA System Programming Library

Contrary to popular belief, Unix is user friendly. It just happens to be selective about who it makes friends with. — Kyle Hearn

A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God. — Unknown

Windows 95: n. 32 bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit operating system originally coded for a 4 bit microprocessor, written by a 2 bit company that can't stand 1 bit of competition. — Unknown

Computers are useless; they can only give you answers! — Picasso

On Music

For me, the purpose of art, and especially music, is to elevate us as far as possible above everyday existence. — Gabriel Fauré

Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art. — Charlie Parker